I have a Linux from scratch LiveCD running on qemu vm. I'm using this command to create a hda disc for qemu:

qemu-img.exe create -f qcow2  base-linux.img 5G

Then I run my vm:

qemu.exe -m 1024 -boot d -cdrom lfslivecd-x86-6.3-r2145.iso -hda base-linux.img

After booting I try this command:

parted /dev/hda unit GB mkpartfs primary ext3 0 5

And it gives me the 'unrecoginised disc label error'.

I'm using parted 1.9.0 and have no ideas as to how to fix it.

2 Answers 2


You probably need to make a label on the disk first.

Try just running parted manually:

parted /dev/hda
unit GB
mklabel msdos
mkpartfs primary ext3 0 5
  • 5
    James's answer was nearly what I needed, however since 2 years have passed and large partitions are the norm, msdos did not work for a 4TB partition. In case anyone needs this for large partitions, use a different argument for mklabel, such as gpt (guid partition table) (mklabel gpt) Feb 10, 2012 at 3:06

If you want to do what @James recommended via the cli you can do the following:

$ parted /dev/sde --script -- mklabel msdos
$ parted /dev/sde --script -- mkpart primary 0 -1

This was of course on a smaller HDD (1TB) so as was mentioned in the comments, anything over 2TB will require a different label, and yes you should be using GPT for that.

$ parted /dev/sde --script -- mklabel gpt

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